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Sing You Home Paperback – 19 Jan 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 213 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (19 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144472455X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444724554
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

She is a master of her craft and humanity is what Picoult does best (Telegraph)

Picoult gives her readers all the virtuosic plotting, cliffhangers and twists they've come to expect (Daily Mail)

Jodi Picoult takes a controversial and provocative subject and uses it as a backdrop to a touching and emotional drama (Sunday Express)

You can always rely on Jodi Picoult to spin a riveting read around an issue of our times (Good Housekeeping)

Superb (The Times)

Book Description

You can't choose who you love . . . Jodi Picoult's powerful and gripping number one bestseller asks what it takes to make a family in today's world.

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Format: Hardcover
It really irks me when Picoult's books are described as 'courtroom dramas' or said to be 'formulaic' because believe me, they are so much more than that. Her books are always a compelling blend of ethical dilemmas, gritty drama, moral issues and above all else, stories with a heart and an unexpected twist in the tale. Just when you think you know what is going to happen, something else is thrown at you that leaves you wondering just what will happen next. For me, this is the strongest Picoult book yet, which is no mean feat because I didn't think she'd ever be able to top the sheer brilliance that was 'Nineteen Minutes.'

I loved this novel. It's hard to say too much without giving away any of the plot, but I will say that it focuses on the true to life issues of the heartbreak of losing a baby, the struggles of IVF, same sex relationships and religion- a real mixed bag of engrossing topics! That's the main point of this novel: it feels real. Very real. In fact, it upset me at points because it felt so true to life and was written so compassionately on the certain situations and scenarios.

Picoult as ever, has really done her research and crafts a beautiful tale with incredibly drawn characters with believable flaws and personalities; it had me turning the pages wanting to know more about them and their lives and left me unable to put this down. As an atheist myself, I did find it a bit overdone on religious sentiment at time, but it did work with the stories theme and characters actions. I also liked how she incorporated certain current happenings to make the story even more believeable; i.e. at one point she had members of the Westborough Baptist Church in there, which added a completely realistic slant to events and happenings. Nobody quite writes like Jodi!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book of two parts. The main part - Zoe and Vanessas' relationship is written beautifully. Picoult writes an sympathetic and unsentimental (although romantic) picture of the pair. She also highlights the bigotry of some church movements towards gay people.

The other part is about Zoe's incompetence as a music therapist. She seems to wander around with her acoustic guitar like a travelling minstrel. She has no hesitation about diving, univited, into the rooms of dying children and older men to seemingly play them the wrong tunes. Her relationship with the suicidal teenager is just bizarre and her treatment methods unlikely to achieve anything but more likely to make the situation worse. This part of Picoult's writing slides into the mawkish. She is often overly tempted to slip into aphorisms that seem to be straight out of a self-help book.

I worry that Picoult tries too hard to hit the right 'buttons' to produce emotional effect. I know, though, that I am in a minority here and appreciate that many appreciate this book very much. For me, it was not one of Jodi's best.
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Format: Hardcover
Zoe and Max Baxter have spent ten years trying to have a baby. Despite infertility issues, and multiple miscarriages, it looks like their dream is about to come true - Zoe is seven months pregnant. But sadly, things do not go according to plan and she and Max divorce. Afterwards, Zoe throws herself into her career as a music therapist - using music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer's patients connect with the present; and to provide solace for hospice patients. And then Vanessa, a school guidance counsellor, asks her to work with a suicidal teenaged girl. Vanessa and Zoe become friends, and then they fall in love and marry. Zoe and Vanessa would like to have their own family, and Zoe remembers that she and Max had three frozen embryos still in storage.

Meanwhile, Max has joined an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor, Clive Lincoln, has vowed to fight the `homosexual agenda' which he considers threatens traditional family values in America. When Zoe seeks Max's permission for her and Vanessa to use the embryos so that they can have a child, Max, with the help of his church, goes to court to fight for ownership. Private matters become public while lifestyles are dissected and judged.

The story is told through the perspectives of Zoe, Max and Vanessa. While mainly focussed on relationships, it includes issues like alcoholism, cancer, infertility and intolerance.
I didn't enjoy this novel as much as most of the other Jodi Picoult novels I have read. Why? I think it is partly because so many different issues were packed into the story, partly because the ending felt contrived, and partly because I didn't care for most of the characters. And yet, the novel has worked: it's got me thinking about some of the issues involved.

What constitutes a family? `You can't choose who you love'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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By Lincs Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 April 2011
Format: Hardcover
Oh my! Another absolutely compelling read and most definitely one of her very best. There has been some online criticism that Jodi Picoult writes to a formula, I'm not sure that is completely true, but agree that her novels are always about social issues, family drama and relationships. Yes, once again, the story is narrated individually by the main characters, but as always, it really does work. What better way to see all sides of the same story? If this is formula - then it works for me as a fan, and certainly works for Ms Picoult as an author - why change something that certainly isn't broken.
It's also a shame that her books are labelled as 'courtroom dramas' when they are so much more than that. Her books deal with real, social, topical issues, with real families and people dealing with real life and not just the legalities and court procedures. Although there is no doubt that she does write the court-room episodes very well indeed.
So, back to Sing You Home; there are so many different issues dealt with in this novel, at first I wondered if it was too many, but as the story is told and the plot unfolds each issue knits together perfectly and only adds to the drama and to the plot.
Zoe, the music therapist, and desperate to be a Mother married to Max the reformed drinker and bit of a beach bum - both ordinary, everyday people whose lives have been changed by the fact that they can't naturally conceive. The impact of their loss on their marriage and where they turn for help influences the rest of the story. It's difficult to say too much without giving away the plotline, but homosexuality and religion play a large part in the story.
There were times I had to close the book and take a deep breath to control my anger. The outrage I felt towards some of the characters was enormous - that a fictional story and made-up characters can provoke such emotion says a lot for the quality of the writing.
Picoult fans will not be disappointed with this.
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